Tuesday, May 13, 2008

In Response to the Dumbest Generation / Can U Read Kant?


Maybe the people controlling the content of the old masters haven’t quite caught up with the pace yet. Perhaps if educational resources were more readily available online there would be more educated discourse.

We will dare to know. Kant’s Sapere Aude is not an outdated concept.

What needs to now join it is Dare to Post. The knowledge must be accessible.

Every day I have to search for content to post at a blog I’ve created called What Isn’t Art? which is designed to be an easily accessible and searchable database of ideas on Art Theory.

Doing this has made me realize the extreme amount of trouble it is to find what should be easily accessible content. It may not seem like much to those firmly rooted in academia, used to shifting through hundreds of library shelves to find one quote, but to the googling generation, if it can’t be found quickly, often it feels like it doesn’t exist at all. Then finding a reference to a book that can’t even be found in your state means you’ll probably give up.

I’m not saying that we’re lazy, I’m saying that the people controlling the information are hurting their own situation by putting barriers in the way of access.

For example, databases like JSTOR require login. Many other academic databases require similar access. Why? I assume it has to do with funding, but if they had a small amount of advertising and made their databases searchable and open, I’m willing to bet they’d do just fine.

Google Books is a step in the right direction. It’s been extremely useful, though sometimes frustrating. Many sources are out of print and rare. It’s hard to find them even in a physical library here in Georgia.

Much of the misering of information seems to stem from fear. Fear that if it was somehow available the people who produce it would never be able to support themselves.

Maybe it’s just time to start looking for another way, or a bit of give and take. Surprisingly music is at the forefront, (or perhaps not, maybe only because the music industry was also at the forefront of suing people for sharing) with bands like Coldplay, Radiohead, and NIN as well as countless unsigned bands starting to give away music to get a huge burst in good will from fans (followed by actual money. They did just fine when their CDs hit stores.)

I’m sure it would be the same with books. Make every book searchable and available online. Every damn one. I know that I would still prefer to read it with the book in my hands. People who read books will always buy books. I’m willing to bet with your book searchable a lot more quotes and reviews will pop up online. A lot more people will look for it and find it.

This has already happened to an extent, with authors from Kafka and Nietzsche to Poe, Kant, Lovecraft, etc available through semi-pirate projects.

The only people that might lose a little are the publishers living off of proceeds from deceased writers: The authors may do just fine selling directly to readers. I’m certainly willing to donate 5 dollars through paypal to an amazing author and I bet that’s more they see in proceeds from the sale of a novel.

What Robinson seems to miss is that young people like myself are being targeted with the escapist stupidity. It’s profitable. Companies are willing to spend a lot of money and time to make sure we are wasting ours, whether it is on TV or 5 word text messages. And political opportunists and talking heads aren’t making things easier. If the intelligentsia isn’t willing to make it just as easy and free to learn, we are never going to get anywhere. The old system of guarding your knowledge until it is in a prestigious journal just isn’t going to work.

There are philosophy communities on Livejournal. There is debate on Facebook. There is hope. Let’s make the most of it.

Posted in response to Can U Read Kant? at the Wall Street Journal

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 3:31 pm  

Monday, May 12, 2008


See, this is how it is: This awesome kid Brad took a picture of this awesome kid Ward who this awesome kid Rachel posted up as part of an awesome contest at her awesome blog. You can be awesome and vote for it.

Also awesome is this, which was posted at Art Fag blog. Oh, that blog is awesome too. Almost forgot.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 10:17 am  

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Minute Load

Ok, so this is what I’m playing around with based on that little idea I had while writing that last post. I’m not quite sure why I stayed up till 6am on a whim working on this one, but I suppose that’s how I operate these days. What does it look like in your browser? I hardly expect it to actually look like that grid for anyone, that was at a resolution way above what I even use.

It’s called Minute Load, at this point. It’s a youtube load breakdown of a minute from five seconds. The first four videos won’t load or loop when embedded. I’m not sure why, since the last two videos I put up were under five seconds.

Here’s what the page on my website would look like and here’s the direct link.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 11:09 pm  

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sorry for the Radio Silence

I promise I’m working on stuff. Put a bunch of snapshots on facebook. I’ll throw a couple up here at some point.

You know what’s weird? I’m in love with the way little red youtube things go back and forth while looping. I sort of want to make a piece just of little looping youtube red bars.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 8:13 pm  

Friday, May 9, 2008

thanks sarah.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 9:44 am  

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Little Vote Thing

Hey guys, I entered a contest at Artists Wanted, and I’ve got a portfolio up. You can vote for it once every 24 hours. I could get 500 dollars with this thing. I ain’t gonna lie, I’m moving at the end of this month as well as putting together a new installation and money is tight. Between my last show and this one, nothing has been for sale, so I’ve got to whore myself out a little to fund these projects.

It would warm my little heart if you vote for me. Thanks.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 12:16 pm  

Monday, May 5, 2008

Thoughts on Life Et Cetera

I woke up this morning in an odd mood. I’m sure we’re all aware of the nature of dreams. I just don’t usually remember them. It’s strange that the clearest visual dream memory I have had in so long is of french toast sticks.

Specifically, I was looking into my wallet to find a dollar to buy a new york city hot dog (which I’d already ordered) and only found french toast sticks, soaked in syrup, neatly stacked in my wallet. I told the vendor I didn’t have the money, I only had french toast sticks. I showed him. He grunted, annoyed but understanding, he knew how it just is sometimes.

I walked away, pissed that I was so broke, but at least I had something to nibble on.

When I woke up I was upset that I didn’t even have the french toast sticks.

As I was walking down from my Psychology class, I noticed “The funny thing about life is that one day you’re dead” scrawled in permanent marker on a window sill in the stairway. I giggled. It made me so happy, so glad to be alive. And then I felt happy for being happy: That statement could quite possibly make some people despair. Of course, I’ve never understood how people focused on the darker side of existentialism, there is so much love for life in that alley of thought.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 4:13 pm  

Sunday, May 4, 2008

New Old Work!

Added three galleries, from 2003-2005.

Is the sidebar too big for your screen?

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 12:29 pm  

Friday, May 2, 2008

Moving Memories

I’m working on getting all my old friends only blog posts from my original livejournal over to this journal, just because it would be nice to have to look back on. It’s already pretty funny. Check out this gem:

“bleh, waking up to a phone ringing is annoying. I wish my mom wouldn’t call from work so much! I’m 15, Its [sic] not like I cant take care of myself!”

Apparently I made 3737 livejournal entries from 2001-2006. Busy little kid. Fittingly, the two images above are from my childhood room, now being used as storage for all kinds of nostalgic refuse.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 8:20 pm  

Friday, May 2, 2008

Future Of Photography and Writers On Drugs

I updated Future of Photography on my website, adding this screenshot. I’m sure those videos won’t be up there forever. Anyone know to save videos from youtube? I know it’s stealing, but that’s part of what makes it so wickedly funny to me.

I also added What Isn’t Art? and condensed three of the word sections into just one Small Works. I’m really loving my menu being coded into the individual pages, since it means I can link directly to a work now.

Speaking of stealing, as much as I love recontextualizing stuff, it is nice when you have permission, especially if you’re working with source material from someone you really respect. One of my absolute heroes of sound and installation design said I can use one of his tracks in a project as long as I make note of where it’s from and that it’s used with permission. I’m really glad, because the sound in it is randomly remixed and layered to the point of almost absolute chaos, and his work consists of amazing compositions with many formal aspects… without a starting point of such perfection, the chaotic remixing wouldn’t have the same power. The sound is a relatively small part of the project, but I think it’s really important to set the mood for the rest of it. You probably noticed I’ve been pretty vague about this, but I promise more information soon, once everything is set.

Rin and I let some traveling kids sleep over at his place. I’ve been hanging out with a lot of the passersthrough when they hit savannah. I don’t know if I could ever hop a train, running away from cops isn’t really my idea of fun, but I respect their wanderlust. I feel like I live on the charity of others myself (scholarship, grants, parents, art buyers, etc), and I’m always happy to spare some time and some food or sleeping space to people passing through. Since I’m so interested in life as art, I feel the passion that they live with is something I can learn from.

I also wanted to make a note of this book – which I highly recommend: The Road Of Excess: A History Of Writers On Drugs.

Possibly the most important link between the use of psychoactive substances and creative acts is the ability to understand that perception is relative, and easily manipulated through physical stimuli. So many influential figures had some sort of experience of this nature, and I think it has a profound influence on thought. Those that know me well know that I have almost zero interest in drugs like weed, for example, but that I spent much of my early life on some form of ADHD medication, and even though I managed to escape that around 16, I’ve been acutely interested in substances from a scientific and social standpoint since then. It always amazes me the variety of substances that are illegal to try contrasted with the substances that are prescribed daily to children too young to really have a say in their consumption.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 9:16 am  

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